How to keep your children out of harm’s way during the winter holiday season

If you send your kids outside to play in the snow so they don't play with your holiday decorations, make sure it's not too cold outside

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – Christmas trees and other holiday decorations are pretty to look at, but they can be dangerous to children who are often drawn to shiny objects.

Stephanie Weigel, the injury prevention coordinator at Akron Children’s Hospital, suggests hanging breakable ornaments at the top of your tree and soft ornaments at the bottom.

If you’re going to use popcorn garland, make sure your kids know it’s a decoration and not a treat — it’s choking hazard.

“So we see accidents every year where kiddos will pull the stocking and then the heavy weighted object that’s on the mantel will come crashing down on the child. So if you do hang stockings, make sure that they are out of reach, even if they reach up on their tiptoes, that they can’t grab up and pull them,” she said.

But, if you can’t keep your decorations out of reach, Weigel suggests waiting until Christmas Eve to hang everything up.

If you send your kids outside to play in the snow so they don’t play with your decorations, make sure it’s not too cold outside.

Weigel says to pay attention to the wind chill.

If it’s below 13 degrees outside, including the wind chill, it’s too cold to be out. If it’s 13-31 degrees with wind chill, it’s ok to be outside but take breaks every 15-20 minutes to warm up. If it’s 32 degrees or higher with wind chill, you’re ok to be outside.

Remember to dress your kids up in layers — four to be exact. The first layer should be something that is water wicking, not cotton.

“You don’t want them to be sweating and playing and that cotton gets wet and it’s wet and cold against their skin. So you want something that is water wicking. The two middle layers should be kind of that absorbent, keep the warm in and the cold out layer. And the last layer should be something that is waterproof,” Weigel said.

Kids will often reach for soft, fuzzy gloves, but when they get wet they can cause issues like frostnip or frostbite, so try giving them waterproof gloves instead.

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